Let Stillness Find You

It’s so easy to fill our lives with constant busy-ness.

We all have work of some nature that calls to us. Schedules to keep. Commitments made that we want to honor. Phones ring in our homes, offices, work places, backpacks, purses. In countless ways the whole world is literally at our fingertips.

The pleasure and value of all these connections can easily prevent us from noticing the price we pay, the things we sacrifice.

Too often the constant-connection & endless commitments leave us exhausted and frenzied. One simple antidote is to restore some stillness into each day. 

Finding time and space for stillness is not easy. It wasn’t easy before cell phones, facebook, email, twitter . . . but for most of us, it’s more challenging now than ever. 

Try this instead.  Allow stillness to find you.

As you sit at a stop light on your drive to work, pause to notice the feel of your breath as it moves into your lungs. Notice the cool air moving in through your nose and how it’s a little warmer as you exhale. Allow yourself three deep breaths as you sit at that light. With each exhale allow it to be just a bit longer than the inhale. Notice the little pause between exhale and inhale.

After those three breaths is anything different?

The next time you feel upset – frustrated with your boss, angry at your husband, worried about a friend – be silent for a moment. Notice your feet. Let them rest firmly on the floor. Let your awareness scan from the soles of your feet up through your legs, your torso, and to the top of your head. Notice where you body feels tense and direct your breath to that spot. Allow your body to soften around each physical and emotional sensation. It only takes a minute or two. Just notice the tightness and allow a softening. Don’t try to make anything happen. Just be aware of your own body.

Be present in your own skin.

Stillness doesn’t have to take the form of sitting alone in a quiet room for extended periods of time. If you’re eventually called to that practice, great, follow that path. But know that stillness is available on a busy city street by simply being present with each footstep. Stillness is waiting in the conscious touch of your hand. It’s comes to you in the pause between heartbeats.

Stillness resides at the core of your being and many paths will lead you there. 

With all the demands and distractions of this life it can be hard to remember how much we need the balm of a peaceful moment. Some of us struggle to find ways to access this place of peace. But it’s always there. As close as our breath, our skin, a touch.

It’s right here, in this moment.

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  1. Linda May 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Thank you Kelly for a very concrete suggestion for relaxation. I have been taking the time to purposefully breathe at stop lights during my daily driving but your expansion on the technique is most helpful. I look forward to adding the technique to my daily relaxation techniques.

    • Kelly May 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks Linda. I’d love to hear how this works for you and other favorite techniques you like to use. I really enjoy finding ways to bring stillness into movement. Fun little paradox!

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